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Thread: surgery vs. chiropractic

  1. #1
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    May 2006
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    surgery vs. chiropractic

    Has anyone out there tried chiropractic for severe curves (60 degrees +) and ended up having surgery anyway?

    I'm skeptical of chiropractic, but my husband wants me to check it out.

    Thanks!

    snowdal

  2. #2
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    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Hi...

    My curves were in the high 50s when I started chiropractic treatment. I went for a year, 3X a week, and then tried several other chiropractors, before finally giving up and having surgery. My curves both increased more than 5 degrees in the approximately two years I was in chiropractic treatment.

    --Linda

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Did you feel better or did you feel like you were getting better during the time you were receiving treatment?

    I've been reading a lot about Chiropractic and they seem to promise the world but no one seems to have success with severe curves.

    Thanks for your response.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    NJ across from NYC
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    Snowdal,
    My curve was in the 60's when I was going to a chiro but eventually had surgery. My opinion - it was a waste of time and money. I went for about six months, as I was desperate to get rid of the horrendous pain. Surgery for me was the answer.
    Lynn
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  5. #5
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    Sep 2003
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    Snowdal...

    I did, eventually, get some relief for my neck pain, from the 4th chiropractor that I tried. I never got any relief for my lower back pain. I still see a chiropractor a few times a year when I have neck pain.

    --Linda

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
    Location
    Montgomery, AL/Tuscaloosa, AL
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    I started going to a chiropractor 2 or 3 times a week three years ago when my curve (thoracolumbar) was 37 degrees, just to see if it helped. He didn't make any promises. As soon as he decided it was probably futile (as far as correcting the curve), I stopped going except when I had pain or headaches, which he was usually able to help. He told me when I started going to him that he had worked on patients with scoliosis before and had success in correcting the curve in a few, which I believe was true, but it just doesn't work for everyone, or and I would dare say it doesn't work for the vast majority. I think it depends on the cause of your curve. It might be worth looking into, but I would be cautious about a chiro who believes he or she is a miracle worker or who doesn't believe in MD's. My chiro was realistic about the limits of his practice and even recommended the doctors at Hughston Orthopedic Clinic when it was time for me to look into surgery. I'm really glad he was able to recommend someone; the clinic and my doctor are just wonderful, and I'm scheduled for surgery there for two weeks from today.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    Montgomery, AL/Tuscaloosa, AL
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    oops, didn't realize you were asking about treatment for curves 60+. Just wanted to contribute my experience since I've tried chiropractic treatment and am now having surgery anyway.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    178
    Hi All,
    I went to my chiropractor for about a year 6 yrs ago when my curves were at 50 degrees upper and 45 degrees lower. He told me he couldn't reduce them so i was referred to a orthopedic surgeon. Here in Australia not sure if all surgeons think this but the ones i went to don't like chiropractors at all mine said if anything it was a waste of time for me going and that they could of made mine worse. So since then i had never returned to him.
    And im now going to have surgery in 2007.
    This is my point of view from what my surgeons said so don't take offence in what my experience has been. It could be different in other countries.

    Lee
    Had surgery May 28th 2007 Anterior/Posterior getting fused from T3 - L3

    http://curvedgirl.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Jul 2006
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
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    Please read my initial post: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...9640#post29640


    I will never, ever vouch for a chiropractor, nor would I ever believe any chiro. who says he can fix scoliosis. Any that even try and tell you they possibly can are full of it. My curve was as bad as yours.... he can NOT heal it. It's so easy to believe, because you want to so bad... who doesn't want an easy, non-surgical fix?? I know, I am biased against them, and I know they can help some people... but I refuse to believe they can help scoliosis patients. I wish you the very best of luck!!
    Jen
    24/NY
    Harrington rod placement & fusions
    11/2/94
    60T, 35L

  10. #10
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
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    Before I had my kyphoscoliosis corrected, one of my uncles who just happens to be a chiropractor told me and my parents that I would be better off seeing an orthopaedic surgeon for my back. I have nothing against chiropractors at all. I've been going to one for the past 2 1/2 year, who has done wonders for my lower back. She's well aware of the rods in my back and is willing to work around them. That's just my 2 cents on this.
    Last edited by Andy2010; 12-20-2006 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Typo on my part

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I guess any good one will tell you-like an osteo or acupuncture specialist- that there is a three visit rule, and after those if the pain isn't better, to stop going.

    This way we don't get taken advantage of.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  12. #12
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    Sep 2006
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    416
    Good advice Sweetnes514!

  13. #13
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    I have been told my many orthos that chiropractic care can lessen the pain associated with scoliosis, but can not reverse it. I think I even read that on one of the chiro websites somewhere. I went to a chiro for a long time (2 different ones) just to manage some discomfort. Still not in a lot of pain, but my upper curve has progressed 7 degrees throughout the treatment. I think it's best to think of a chiro as someone who can help you manage the pain (but I like Sweetness' rule), but at some point if the curve keeps progressing, they won't be effective any more. Only an ortho can actually reverse / correct it.

    Maybe 20-30 years from now someone will create "Corrective Chiropractic Treatment" or something. Wouldn't that be nice.
    32 y/o male
    S curve - upper, 50 degrees, lower 43 degrees
    Waiting and watching after seeing 2 doctors...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I remember my first chiro I used to go to, when I was 13, and he was so adament that I don't get surgery(in the future) and that he could help me with not only pain, but also with curve progression. He was wrong for the most part, yes. But even back then(mid '80s), I didn't completely believe him, and neither did my parents, so I just went for a few years mainly b/c I had so much pain with the progressing curves and the brace. For that hour visit he used tens, massaged and cracked my back, I felt good, and to me that's all that mattered at that moment. As far as him being a liar about him being my miracle cure, maybe he was but maybe he just didn't know better then.

    The second and last chiro I saw was about 8 months prior to my surgery, as the last option. I saw him only every three to four weeks(per his advice), when or if I had pain and he took care of all of it. Again, I don't regret seeing him, even if after those 8 months he didn't help me as muh anymore b/c he helped me for those moments.

    To me, bottom line is we are in control of our bodies and actions and it's also my responsibility to not become a victim of liars and be taken advantage of.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    34
    I've been seeing a chiropractor since I was 12 years old. I agree with several of these posts. The chiropractor doesn't reverse or fix the curves, but it does manage the pain. Also, a good chiropractor will not promise you that he/she can fix your curve(s).

    I've been lucky that my curve didn't start progressing until after I had children (probably due to the hormones). I'm also glad that my parents didn't make me have surgery back then because the surgery was much more evasive than it is now.

    But, alas, I always knew it would come to this and I would eventually have to have the surgery. I don't regret one minute with the chiropractor because I felt that it allowed me to do many things during those important years as a kid that I probably wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

    I only have to see the chiropractor once a month. If you find a good one, then they will definitely help out with the pain. But surgery is really the only option for straightening the curve. Hope this helps!
    MishP
    38 y/o
    Diagnosed with Scoliosis at age 6 - Bracing didn't help
    Brace off at age 12
    Saw Chiropractor/massage therapist
    Pre-op
    Upper Curve - 115 degrees
    Lower Curve - 85 degrees
    9/18/07 Anterior/posterior surgery w/Dr. Boachie-Adjei
    Fused T2-L3
    Not sure of post-op correction

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